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Vol. 12, No. 1
November 1999

Mercurial Matters

Old and New Media

News of Members

Editorial: Seduced by a "First”

2000 in Munich

Nina Wormbs wins Robinson Prize

Information Networks and Urban Spaces

Book Review:
Science in Public

Lemelson Center Fellows Program

News of the Field:
Printing History on the Web

Audio History Library

Westinghouse Films from 1904

What can "Old Technologies" Teach us about Digital Culture?

Recent and Upcoming Conferences

Journal of Radio Studies

New Edition of Bibliography


Telephone Collectors International

SHOT Session Query: Mechanical to Electrical

A Victorian Internet?

Contact Us

Mercurians Back Button

Nina Wormbs Wins Robinson Prize

The Society for the History of Technology’s 1999 Robinson Prize went to Nina Wormbs of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. SHOT awards this prize yearly to a first-time presenter at its annual meeting whose paper excels in both content and delivery. Nina’s 1998 paper, “A New Technology to Save Old Values: The Nordic Direct Broadcasting Satellite,” superbly met those standards.

To quote from the Robinson Prize Committee’s citation, Nina successfully embedded “a technology episode in the cultural context in which it arose. She has, concisely and with great clarity, identified a complex of cultural factors surrounding governmental research on satellite broadcast systems for Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden in the 1970s and ‘80s; or, we might note more precisely, surrounding resistance to that emergence, since no such system has yet been built.” She convincingly showed that partisans on all sides believed that “No less than the loss or preservation of Nordic culture might have followed the arrival of the new technology.”

The committee’s full citation explains at length the content and merits of Wormbs’s evidence, argument, and presentation. Congratulations, Nina!